How To Self Belay In Climbing

Do you want to know how to self belay in climbing? Sometimes the hardest to find component of the climbing gear, the partner, is absent. But this does not mean you can´t go climbing by your self. And doing it relatively safe is also possible. Just a few maneuvers and pieces of equipment, and you´re good to self belay.

What you need to self belay in climbing is:

  • A climbing rope.
  • A harness.
  • A locking carabiner.
  • A leash loop.
  • A mechanical ascender.
  1. Make the rope go through the anchor at the top of the climb. For safety, try this and every maneuver that is new for you using a short top rope climb.
  2. With the harness on, make the rope go through the ascender and clip both to your belay loop. Double check to prevent the rope from building twists that may later become problematic as the rope goes through the device.
  3. Tie the free end of the rope. Do this to your harness using a figure eight double loop knot.
  4. Leave the remaining rope. And coil out to the back of your strong hand as you face the wall.
  5. Take the slack off the rope. Tighten the rope that goes through the ascender.
  6. Start climbing.
  7. Take the slack of the rope every few feet as you go up. Before you go too high, test the reliability of the system by hanging from the ascender. You should see that the rope holds you still, even if you release the rope completely.
  8. If you are using a belay device instead of a mechanic ascender you will need to hold the rope that goes past the belay device to one of your legs using a leash of thin rope, around five mm. linking the downward rope to your leg with a friction knot, preferably a Prusik knot with three loops. This is a more problematic solution, but will work if used properly.

Remember to always use a helmet, and double check all of your maneuvers. Specially when soloing, no detail can be left aside.

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